By: Terry F.
“Expectations are premeditated resentments”. I heard this many years ago and of course I laughed how true it is. Whether it is in recovery, in business or in love setting expectations whether they be realistic or not is a setup for disaster. Many times I have unknowingly set expectations, such as in relationships both romantic and friendships I have set expectations on the other person that were according to how I thought they should act. This typically ended in them not living up to my expectations. Say I am in the hospital or home sick should I expect my friends to come see me? Well, it would be nice if they did but if I set that expectation then I would be disappointed in some of them. Reflecting on it might show me that I don’t go and see all my friends if /when they go to the hospital because I don’t really like hospitals not because I don’t like my friend. So if I feel that way maybe my friend has their own reason for not coming.
Maybe my friends are having a get together and I have not been invited. Do I expect my friends not to go because I am not invited? Am I really friends with the people having the party? Probably not and I would probably not invite them to my party, but I want to feel bad and blame them for not inviting me. The lesson that I learn from this has always been to look at myself, did I expect something from someone? If so my resentment/disappointment is my fault. If it is my fault, then I can do something about it and deal with it.
Love is giving without expectations… until recently I thought I did not set expectations on my partners, but I always did. I would find this out as soon as they did not live up to them. He has no communication skills, he does pay enough attention to me, he doesn’t ever want to go where I want to…etc. This last relationship I have been in has been as unconditional as I am capable of today. I understand that to be in a healthy relationship it is not 50/50 but 100/100. I must give all I have all the time and not expect to get anything in return. When I do this, I find that I get what I need.
When we release expectations, we are free to enjoy life as it is instead of how we think it should be.